John Fairbairn (Curator Chelsea Physic Garden)1

(3 Feb 1742 - Dec 1814)
FatherJames Fairbairn2,3 (circa Oct 1715 - aft. 1757)
MotherKatherine Marshall2,3 (say 1720 - )


     The will of John Fairbairn, bookseller of Edinburgh left £300 "to the children of John Fairbairn Gardener at Chelsea Gardens England & to heirs equally among them", taking this money from a prior legacy of £500 to the children of an Archibald FAIRBAIRN (Katherine, James, John, Archibald and Alexander).
Both Archibald and John the gardener are believed to be John's step nephews, both sons of the James married to Katherine MARSHALL.
Other FAIRBAIRNs mentioned were "To Marion and Jean Fairbairn the children of the late Archibald Fairbairn Schoolmaster at newlands a small annual allowance at the pleasure of my wife or in the event of her death a Sum not exceeding five pounds Stg per annum to each." This Archibald being his step brother.4,2,5


     John Fairbairn (Curator Chelsea Physic Garden) was born on 3 Feb 1742 Walkhead of Newbigging, Par. of Penicuik, MLN, SCT.3 He was baptized on 7 Feb 1742 Penicuik, MLN, SCT; entry 3rd Feb: James Fairbairn Mason at the Walkhead of Newbigging and Katharine Marshall his spouse had a child born ffebry 3d and was baptized the 7th day 1742 names John witnesses Robert Craig & John Marsall.3
     John Fairbairn (Curator Chelsea Physic Garden) married Jane UnknownSurname say 1765 the Jane of the Botanic Garden Chelsea buried in 1815 is assumed to be John's widow, but evidence and age currently lacking.6,2
     John Fairbairn (Curator Chelsea Physic Garden) died in Dec 1814 Chelsea, LND, ENG, at age 72; apparently at an advanced age.1
There are a number of FAIRBAIRN nurserymen in England who may, or may not, be related:
James - of Clapham, born around 1750
John - curator of the Chelsea Physic Garden, now assumed to be the step nephew of John the Edinburgh Bookseller, who left the Gardener's children money in his 1811 will
John - seedsman of Chelsea (born abt 1816)
Thomas - nurseryman of Oxford (born Scotland around 1776 - 1780.)7,1,8,9,10,11,5
ChartsJames & Marion (CRAIG) FAIRBAIRN
Last Edited29 Mar 2013


  1. [S1961] Www FAIRBAIRN searches and miscellaneous correspondence by LornaHen (1) 1784-1814 John FAIRBAIRN, Curator Chelsea Physic Garden, found online at google books in the Dictionary of British and Irish botansits and horticulturists by Ray Desmond, extracted Nov 2009.
  2. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Mar 2013.
  3. [S55] Scottish BMDB entries (to 1854),, Birth 3rd Bap. 7th Feb 1742 John s/o James FAIRBAIRN (mason Walkhead of Newbigging) & Katherine MARSHALL, Penicuik, MLN, 697/00 0010 0169, copy d/loaded Jun 2011.
  4. [S3026] Richard GREENE, "EM FAIRBAIRN: Penicuik, MLN ex Richard G," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Will 1811 John FAIRBAIRN, Bookseller of Edin., extracts rcvd Mar 2013.
  5. [S3252] Will/Codicils: John FAIRBAIRN bookseller d Edin. 1810 (Inventory (1 Feb 1811) Will (9 Nov 1804) Codicils (22 Jun 1805, 6 Oct 1809)) Edinburgh Sheriff Court SC/70/13: Copy d/loaded Mar 2013.
  6. [S2881] Sue C, "FAIRBAIRN: Clapham nurserymen ex Sue," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Bur. 1815 Jane FAIRBAIRN widow, of the Botanic Gardens of St Luke's Chelsea (from Application for letters of Administration 25 Nov 1815 by Elizabeth GIBSON widow of 16 Argyle Street Marylebone) burial 1815 Deadman's Place, Union Street, Southwark, extract rcvd Mar 2013.
  7. [S2] Lorna Henderson, "FAIRBAIRN Analysis", Nov 2009.
  8. [S200] 1841 Census images, England & Wales, via, Par. of St Michael, Oxford, OXF HO107/891 Bk 14 ED 18 F 22 Pg 14, hsehold of Thos & Rebeca FAIRBAIRN (indexed as FAIRBOURN), extracted Nov 2009.
  9. [S2916] London Metropolitan Archives: Birth death marriage (filmed originals): , Marr. 1 May 1838 John (nurseryman) s/o John FAIRBAIRN (nurseryman) & Jane d/o Robert (bootmaker) LUDGATE, from Saint John The Evangelist: Smith Square, Westminster, Transcript of Marriages, 1838 Jan-1838 Dec, DL/t Item, 091/077, extracted Mar 2011.
  10. [S2881] Sue C, "FAIRBAIRN: Clapham nurserymen ex Sue," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Marr. 1838 John FAIRBAIRN (s/o John, nurseryman) & Jane LUDGATE, St John the Evangelist Westminster, extract from cert rcvd Nov 2009.
  11. [S200] 1841 Census images, England & Wales, via, Par. of Chelsea, Hundred of Oussulstone (Kensington Div), MDX HO107/688 Bk 11 ED 6 F 12 Pg 19, hsehold of John & Jane FAIRBAIRN (indexed as FEARBAUSON), extracted Nov 2009.
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